South Africa's public broadcaster SABC, is to air 13 Hindi films for the first time in its history this summer.

The corporation has acquired films including Devdas, Bombay and Company, which will be subtitled in English and broadcast over 13 weeks starting April 3rd on TV3 Channel.

Indian films are popular among the 2 million South Asian expat community in South Africa. In 2002 Amitabh Bachchan, who was recently appointed goodwill ambassador of South Africa, was given exclusive coverage by the SABC when he toured the country for the promotion of his film Aankhen.

The country's leading cinema group, Ster-Kinekor, currently releases 24 Indian film titles a year locally. In October 2003 Bachchan's film Baghban was the highest grossing movie on the Ster-Kinekor circuit, outperforming Hollywood titles released over the same period. Nu Metro Theatres, has released only 10 Indian titles since 2001.

Bend It Like Beckham and East Is East each grossed more than $150,000, while Monsoon Wedding grossed $300,000.